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Postings to plant quarantine office begin on HC orders

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The ministry of agriculture and farmers' welfare has initiated the process of recruiting staff at the plant quarantine office in Trichy following an order of the Madurai bench of Madras high court. S A Sayeed, an exporter and president of Express Courier Operators Association, said that the ministry of agriculture had replied to the petitioner in this regard on November 8. The letter said they were making efforts for recruiting 236 assistant plant protection officers through staff selection commission.

Perishable commodities like vegetables, fruits and flowers constitute 90 per cent of the total export of cargo handled at the Trichy international airport. Kuwait, Singapore, Dubai, Male, Kuala Lumpur, Colombo are Trichy's main destinations. It is mandatory for the nodal agency of plant quarantine department at Trichy to provide a certificate for perishable products by globally accepted procedures stating that the consignments are not contaminated or pose any bio-hazard threats.
The exporters had been claiming that they were forced to keep their consignment at the terminal itself as no authority would be available at the office to issue certificates for perishables on Sundays. Following a representation made by ABS Xpress Private Limited, the agriculture ministry had taken the initiative to deploy plant quarantine staff at the airport based on a case filed before Madurai bench of Madras high court.
In fact, they had already conducted an interview for engagement of 118 research associates/senior research fellows, said the letter sent by the ministry.
Moreover, as temporary arrangement, an assistant director had been attached to the plant quarantine station in Trichy. Shortly, a few of the regular/contractual staff would be positioned at the station, the letter added.


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